Wedding Bells Ring for the Associate Rector

The Rev. Julia W. Messer-Croteau and Mr. Bradley L. Croteau were united in marriage at 3 PM on Sunday, July 26, 2020 at Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church. The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector, was officiant. Dr. Martin Sunderland served as organist, with Messer and Croteau family members as witnesses and lectors. Congratulations and God’s richest blessings on the new couple!
Bishop Susan B. Haynes Offers Regathering Update
Today Governor Northam announced during a press conference that he is tightening restrictions in the Hampton Road areas to include no gatherings of greater than 50 people. As we are all aware, there has been a significant increase of coronavirus cases in Hampton Roads convincing the governor of the need to impose further restrictions.
Deeply concerned about the rise in cases in this part of our diocese, Bishop Susan Haynes and Canon Roy Hoffman met via Zoom on Monday evening with the medical/legal subgroup of the Advisory Panel for Re-gathering. We looked at the following metric:
In the first graph, the seven-day moving average (in yellow) began descending around the middle to the end of May. By the middle of June we had the 14-day decline that we were waiting on in order to begin regathering. Then almost immediately after the fourth of July holiday, the numbers began to climb again so that now they are almost what they were before they started declining. If you look at the second graph which examines only the Northern part of the Commonwealth, you will see a flat line which means that cases are not increasing in that geographical area. If you look at the third graph that shows the Commonwealth with the Northern part removed, you will note that the curve rises to a level higher than it has ever been. Medical professionals interpret this curve (without the northern region) to indicate that coronavirus cases in Eastern Virginia are driving this upward surge.
Therefore, it is the recommendation of the medical/legal subgroup and of the Diocesan office that churches in the 757 area code/Hampton Roads area/Convocations 1-5 consider shutting down public worship until the numbers begin to decline again. This decision can be made by the Rector or Priest-in-Charge alone or in consultation with the Vestry of the parish. At the very least, these churches should restrict their public gatherings to 50 or fewer. Virtual worship services, recorded or live-streamed in public buildings may continue as they did even in Phase 1.
This is a difficult place for us to be, we realize. We had hoped that when we re-gathered for worship, we would be doing so permanently. To have to take a step back is disheartening. But let us take up this cross again and do so for the sake of the well-being of our brothers and sisters, particularly the most vulnerable among us and those who care for them. Stay connected with each other, say your prayers every day, and remember that God loves you - for as the Epistle from Romans reminded us this past Sunday, nothing will be able to separate us from that love in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
An Invitation to Join Parish Community Groups 
by Patti Frankenfield
We are now inviting ALL in our congregation to join small groups (of 10 people or less) in a Parish Community Group! Church-wide study and discussion together begins the week of August 3rd!
Meetings are by Zoom, hosted at a variety of times! Father Cameron has suggested we use the Episcopal Catechism in the back of our Book of Common Prayer, as a guide for conversations in small groups. We plan to discuss one of 16 points for as many weeks, meeting twice a month. These meetings will initially be held by Zoom, and as small group members are comfortable, may meet outdoors in private homes. We have volunteers for group leaders, for up to six groups, so now we are seeking group members! 
There is no homework. Just come to the meeting for a check-in, spend quality time with others from our church, and enjoy a group led discussion of the questions posed in the catechism. We hope you will find this interesting, and will be willing to join us as we experience community time in a whole new way! 
Please feel free to direct any questions to the Community Groups committee members, Lee Davis, ( ), Allison Ward, ( ) or Patti Frankenfield ( ). Groups will be led by these three, and Worth Remick, Ann Onhaizer, and Babs Neff. Please feel free to let us know if you have a preferred group leader, and a preferred time for meeting. Sign up by sending an email to Patti at
We look forward to enjoying safe community time with each other starting in August, and continuing this fall! 
by Marty Thumel
The new Lawn Center, or TLC building, will start construction the week of August 6 and will be finished in a few days. The building will be placed on the existing concrete pad behind the Johnson Room on the ESC campus.

The Lawn Center will have double doors with a concrete ramp to ride the riding lawn mowers into the building. It is 20’ x 19’ with 7’ double doors, and a 3’ door for entry. The color is Valspar “Twilight Blue” with white trim. The roof is metal, and there will be windows above the doors for light to come in, and to deter snoopers.

The new building will be used to store all our lawn equipment-- mowers, blowers, weed wackers, etc. It will be safe and dry for the volunteer teams of ESC Lawn Crew to do their magnificent job. We save over $45,000.00 per year by having parishioners comprise our Lawn Crews to keep the campus in great shape.

If you are interested in joining this “elite” Ministry, please contact Rod Gilmore at: It is rumored that one of the lawn crews are noted for their “It’s five o’clock somewhere” motto after finishing the lawn. Just saying...
ESC Delivers for Food+Faith=Hope                          
by Laurie Fox

From the first week of June until the first week of July, volunteers from Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church assisted the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore with a special endeavor to bring meals to seniors and shut-ins. The Food + Faith = Hope program was established to provide food for those in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area who were not able to visit a local Food Pantry due to the quarantine. 
Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia helped to identify the recipients while Mercy Chefs provided the food. Similar to the “meals-on-wheels” program, our volunteers received their designated route the evening before they were scheduled to deliver food. In the morning, the volunteers would go to the Foodbank in Norfolk and pick up food for their assigned clients. Each client received enough food for lunch and dinner. Volunteers were asked to make between seven and eight stops in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach areas, which took approximately two to three hours on each delivery day. Volunteers typically delivered food on Wednesday and Thursday each week. 
A very sincere thanks to those from our Parish who volunteered and assisted with this important undertaking. We are especially grateful to Betsy Antanitus for coordinating and organizing our volunteer teams. Your tireless efforts and your willingness to serve did not go unnoticed. Thank you to the following folks:
Betsy Antanitus
Ellen Gallup
Shelaugh Krakower
Debbie Quam
Walter Taylor
Carrollyn Cox
Shannon O’Leary
Liz Brown
Elliot Williams
Eileen Frey
Mel Runzo
Linda O’Connor
Berry Frankenfield
Diane Dickens
Rich Hildreth
Shannon Townsend
Joan Wagner
Amy Robinson
Deborah Gibs
A note of thanks for blood drive donors

We at the American Red Cross appreciate our partnership with Eastern Shore Chapel and all you have done for the community. We collected 20 productive pints going over goal last week; saving over 60 lives. Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication.
Kindness and Generosity Abound at the Pantry
By Kay O'Reilly, Chapel Pantry Coordinator

Thank you all for the generous response to our request for eggs and bottled water! We braved another hot day Saturday to serve 238 households. At the end of the day we had just one dozen eggs left! God is good and every donation makes a difference. This is an ongoing weekly need.

The spirit of generosity is not limited to ESC. So many other churches are sharing their gifts of time, talent and treasure and we are most grateful. Here are a few examples:
  • First Presbyterian Church sent 4 middle school youth and 3 adults to help with our Saturday distribution this week.
  • Galilee Youth Group hosted a food drive for us and brought hundreds of pounds of donations.
  • St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church brought us everything from their food pantry as they change their model to giving gift cards.
  • Fr. Andy Buchanan, Rector of Galilee Church, spent his Saturday volunteering at our distribution.
  • Fr. Buchanan also made a generous donation to the Pantry from his discretionary fund.

Remember that the kindness we share ripples through the community. This is God at work. The following is the text of an email I received last week:
Thank you all for everything my family was blessed with yesterday. I was able to bless the elderly couple next door with some of the food as well. They were soo happy to receive the milk, meat, fresh fruit, vegetables, and bread. I made some very delicious vegetable soup and will be sharing it with them as well. Thank you. D
Shop ONLINE at the Parish Book Store!

Want to support the Parish Book Store, but finding it a bit of a challenge because we are still physically closed? We have the solution: go to, click on the Bookshop link ( and order ANY book. The Parish Book Store earns the commission on the sale, and Bookshop ships the book directly to you. The titles are not limited to books we have in our current inventory or religious books, but include children’s titles as well as fiction and nonfiction.

Bookshop, which is nonprofit, was created to support independent bookshops that have faced the challenge of competition from online ordering from Amazon. Each affiliate earns 10% of overall sales made through (over $5 million since January), and members of the American Booksellers Association (that means the Parish Book Store!) earn 30% of each sale made through their websites or by visiting and clicking on the display of the bookstore selected.

So while we are sequestered, we hope that you will continue to read and to support the Parish Book Store.
Students - help Parish Book Store create book lists

Calling all middle and high schoolers. Help create the book lists for the Parish Book Store web site on by submitting your favorite titles to Susan Buchanan (
Handbell Regathering

Excitement and music making is in the air. As a small group, we have been given the okay to assemble for practice time.  Because singing of the choir and congregation will not be permitted in our future regathering, I am extending an invitation to all choir members to participate in handbell music making. We are planning two practice sessions beginning on August 12. They will be:
  • Wednesday mornings at 10:30 am, for beginners with a desire to learn and make music
  • Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm, for present and past bell ringers, and others with musical experience wishing to participate in music making

Because the coronavirus is still with us and will be for an extended time, we are required to follow specific rules when in rehearsals. These rehearsal guidelines include, but may not be completely inclusive at this time, are:
  • Bell players will be spaced six feet apart from any other person.
  • Everyone will wear a mask when entering, during, and leaving rehearsal.
  • Everyone will use hand sanitizer before any entry into the practice session.
  • Gloves will be given to and worn by every person. Please bring a zip lock storage bag to keep your gloves. Take the gloves home and wash them when you have finished each practice.
  • Each bell handle must be sanitized after each practice session.
  • Each bell player will be responsible to retrieve his assigned bells from the bell cases, before each rehearsal and replace them in the proper case following each rehearsal.
  • Please bring an old used bath towel to place under your bells and wipe each bell following rehearsals

Please contact Dr. Sunderland at indicating your desire to participate in our handbell music making.
Virtual Sunday School and Confirmation Interest Meeting

Young Children: In addition to mailed coloring sheets to go with the Lectionary readings, join us every other Sunday for our Zoom Children’s Bible Story Time! The next story time is August 9 at 9:10.

Middle School: Students will use Legos or other materials they have in the house to build a response to “What is the Bible saying to you?" The next mailing will go out to coordinate with the August 9 readings.

High School: Students gather weekly on Zoom for fellowship and some spiritual gems along the way!

Confirmation Interest Meeting! Please join us on August 16 at 1pm for a Zoom interest meeting for all rising 9th-12th graders about confirmation. Fr. Cameron will be present to answer all of your questions!

If you are interested in any of these activities or need more information, please  email or
From middle-schoolers Maeve and Will Foster, their "buildings" on the meaning of the Gospel reading for June 28, Matthew 10: 40-42. The word that stood out to them was "Welcome." We hope to hear from other middle-schoolers and see their creations. Remember the building does not have to be with LEGOS, but can be with anything handy. If you have questions or want to be included, please contact Susan Buchanan (
Story time children enjoyed the story of Frozen 2 and enjoyed connecting it to God always being there with us! The children then drew their favorite parts of the story!
High school kids also hung out but had too much fun catching up to remember to take photos!
Virtual Camp Turtle Trap travels to Japan and China!

Konnichiwa! Ni hao!  Greetings from Camp Turtle Trap: Travel the World, Stay @ Home! We have been busy traveling across Asia to the beautiful lands of Japan and China. The children have learned how to write basic words in Chinese, the importance of the dragon in Chinese culture and the beautiful Kimonos of Japan. 

Strap on your athletic shoes and join us for the Olympics for our final Session! We will watch the torch travel across the world, learn how to play tennis, and end with closing ceremonies! 
Daily Morning Prayer via ZOOM

Because of the quarantine we were forced to go to ZOOM for our Thursday morning Daily Office; certainly not as good as meeting in person but the only option we had at the time. At least we could still do SOMETHING. It was hard at first, getting used to the technology, the little quirks and the unwritten etiquette required to hold a successful ZOOM meeting. After many, many meetings to practice morning prayer we have found benefits we never dreamed of! It's amazing how God can work in a less than optimum situation to make it better and better.

  • We have extended. We have gone from just Thursday mornings to every day but Sunday.
  • We have grown. Our regular attendance has increased with each passing month. We have regular guests from other churches!
  • We have developed community. Regular attendees have commented that during confinement this is a great opportunity for fellowship.
  • We have learned. There is a very sacred rhythm to Morning Prayer. We have learned that in reading together slowly the prayers really sink in and become more meaningful. By sharing the leadership, we have developed a new appreciation for each other and for the practice and benefits of Daily Morning Prayer.

You can join us too. 7:30 each morning Monday - Saturday, ZOOM meeting number 562 715 368, password: John1513 (Live in the outdoor chapel at ESC on Thursdays). Everything you need is provided!
Evening Prayer via ZOOM

Join us each evening for Evening Prayer every Monday through Friday at 7:30 PM via ZOOM. Just go to and enter meeting number 869 9363 5805, and password: Ex1414. Hosted by David Wynne.
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